Business INS + OUTS

June 18, 2014

OUT: 1055 High Sell-Out

The Georgetowner’s most recent featured property – 1055 High – located at 1055 Wisconsin Ave., NW, is no longer on the market. The seven luxurious condominium units were priced at $3.6 million to $5.5 million, more than $1,000 per square foot, and were sold in just three weeks to seven all-cash buyers, according to the Washington Business Journal. Developed by EastBanc, Inc., the mostly residential complex overlooks the C&O Canal and is still under construction. The building’s completion is expected in the fall.

IN: The Grace at Georgetown Condos on Sale Soon

Just half a block west of the sold-out Wisconsin Avenue condos, the Grace at Georgetown is a Capital City Real Estate condo project under construction at 3220 Grace St., NW. At the corner of Grace Street and Cecil Place, the four-story complex will hold seven units. Prices begin around $450,000. Project architect is Dale Overmyer.

IN: Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, which specializes in luxury wide plank hardwood floors for residential and commercial spaces, has opened a showroom in the upper courtyard of Georgetown Court at 3251 Prospect St., NW. Carlisle also specializes in wide plank reclaimed flooring and antique flooring. Its engineered wood flooring and solid wood flooring is also available unfinished and prefinished.

Business INS + OUTS

June 4, 2014

IN: Donghia Celebrates Move to Cady’s Alley

Donghia — which specializes in decorative fabrics and furniture – celebrated its move to Cady’s Alley last week with a standing-room-only party. The 3,413-square-foot retail property is at 3334 Cady’s Alley, NW. Founded by the late Italian-American designer Angelo Donghia, the luxury contemporary home furnishing collection sells exclusively to interior designers and architects through its showrooms. Its furniture is made in the U.S. and accessories are handmade in Italy in Murano, next to Venice. [See Social Scene on page 30 for photos from the May 29 event.]

OUT: Serendipity 3 Shuts Its Doors

Georgetown’s Serendipity 3 closed its doors June 3. Since its opening in 2011, the home of the $1,000 “golden opulence” sundae, has had a bumpy ride. Health code violations and a disagreement among the owners caused temporary closures in 2012 and 2013. There is no word yet as to why Serendipity closed, but rumors quickly arose regarding a lawsuit from the landlord of the M Street restaurant, who is allegedly owed more than $98,000 dollars in rent, utilities, and other fees.

IN: Carine’s Bridal Atelier Acquires Second Location
?Carine Krawiec, owner of luxury bridal salon, Carine’s Bridal Atelier, has acquired a 4,200-square-foot second location in Georgetown, set to open a two-floor boutique at 1623 Wisconsin Avenue, former home of Georgetown Cafe, by Winter 2014-15.
Krawiec plans to provide a fresh take on the bridal shopping experience through the boutique’s cutting-edge design while enhancing its exceptional customer service and wide-array of high-end inventory.

“Our store has grown so fast over the past seven years, I wanted to provide a more spacious and luxurious atmosphere for our brides, while maintaining the welcoming and intimate reputation our store has become known for,” says Krawiec. The expansion into 1623 Wisconsin Ave., NW, will welcome rising stars, Zuhair Murad and Inbal Dror, to the boutique’s designer repertoire. The existing location, 1726 Wisconsin Ave., NW, will remain a part of the bridal retailer’s growing empire.

Since its establishment in 2006, Carine’s Bridal Atelier became home to legendary designers, such as Monique Lhuillier and Carolina Herrera, after Krawiec was encouraged by leaders in the industry to open a couture bridal atelier in the D.C. area.

OUT + IN: Bangkok Joe’s to Become Mama Rogue

Bangkok Joe’s, the Thai restaurant at the entrance to Washington Harbour at 3000 K St., NW, closed June 1, as its owners transform the space into a French-Southeast Asian restaurant, named Mama Rouge.

The new restaurant will open in September, owners — chef Aulie Bunyarataphan and Mel Oursinsini — told their patrons in a May 27 email. They also cited the changing tastes of customers. The same team runs Tom Yum District across Key Bridge in Arlington as well as T.H.A.I.

The self-described “dumpling bar and cafe” — reviewed by Zagat as having “dumplings “to die for” and “great cocktails to boot” — has attracted the likes of such boldface diners as Nicole Kidman and Nicholas Cage.

Opened in September 2003, Bangkok Joe’s is getting a re-boot, so to speak, to stay current with its guests. Along with a revamped menu, the space will be redesigned and get a new kitchen.

IN: Orange Anchor Coming to Washington Harbour

Restaurateur Reese Gardner is expanding to Washington Harbour with a nautical-inspired eatery, Orange Anchor. Next to Nick’s Riverside Grille and in front of the fountain, the new restaurant takes over the former Cabanas space and is set to open in August. Gardener runs other spots, such as the Might Pint, Cooperwood Tavern and Irish Public House.

Here’s how the Orange Anchor describes itself: “Our menu consists of seasonal small bites, Maryland crabs, a la cart proteins and shared sides, all sourced locally. The bar program will be highlighted by fresh squeezed orange cocktails and a large selection of rare rums.”

IN: Café Deluxe Opens on M Street in West End

Known for its spot up Wisconsin Avenue near Macomb Street, Cafe Deluxe has opened another place in the West End in the new Hilton Garden Inn at 22nd and M Streets, NW, across the street from the Ritz-Carlton.

Part of the hotel and restaurant in the neighborhood, Café Deluxe, according to the company, “will accommodate up to 130 people in the dining room with seating for 38 at the bar, about 50 in the private dining room area and an additional 2,500 square feet of event space in the hotel that can seat up to 225 — ideal for holiday parties and special occasions. Room service from the kitchen of Cafe Deluxe will be available nightly to all 238 rooms of the Hilton Garden Inn.”

IN: EverFi Celebrates New Offices on K Street

The educational tech firm, EverFi, which started in 2008 on Potomac Street, has moved again to 3299 K St., NW. Co-founded by Tom Davidson, EverFi has steadily expanded. The company occupies two floors and has a balcony overlooking the Potomac.

IN: Sushi Keiko Taking Over Sushi Ko Space

A restaurant named Sushi Keiko has leased 2309 Wisconsin Ave., NW, the former home of Sushi Ko, according to the Hyperlocal Glover Park blog: “The Sushi Keiko menu will feature a variety of Asian foods, including sushi and sashimi, small plates such as grilled baby octopus, and entrees including roasted Maine salmon.” One of the first sushi spots in D.C., Sushi Ko closed last summer in Glover Park but has another place up Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase, Md.

Business Ins & Outs: May 7, 2014

May 16, 2014

IN: Manuel Cabellos, formerly of his own salon at 1231 34 St., NW, is now at Mon Salon, 1620 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

OUT: Marvelous Market at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street, NW, has closed. The property is still owned by the Neams brothers, who ran Neams Market for decades and are patient to find the right tenant and business for this prime location with parking spaces.

Kimberly Robinson will be opening a new bakery at 1826 Wisconsin Ave., NW, called Makin’ Whoopie! – as in whoopie pies. The space formerly housed the Homemade Pizza Co.

COMING in September
Women’s clothing boutique Alice and Olivia has signed a 10-year lease to make its mid-Atlantic debut at 3303 M St., NW, EastBanc, Inc., announced April 28. The 2,400 square-foot retail space on M Street has been vacant since Qdoba Mexican Grill closed its doors
in January.

The high-end apparel company is slated to open in September. According to EastBanc, Inc., the lease begins immediately and Alice and Olivia will start renovations right away.

Yamanair Creative Opens at Canal Square

Yamanair Creative, calling itself the first “anti-ad agency” in the U.S., threw a grand-opening party April 30 at its Georgetown headquarters on 31st Street, which featured a live performance of “the Star-Spangled Banner” by the a cappella singers of The District, which brought the crowd of 100 to tears. Guests included diplomats, such as Arif Yeter of the Turkish Embassy, Chris Broullire, D.C. chapter president for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and CBS vice president Scott Herman, along with Georgetown business owners and friends.

I-Thai Celebrates Grand Opening on M Street

I-Thai, a new Southeast Asian Restaurant and Sushi Bar, at 3003 M St., NW, celebrated its recent opening with a grand-opening party April 29. Along with the party-goers were i-Thai owner Debbie Ratanaprasith and Damon Banks of Damon M. Banks Freelance Writing and Consulting.

Roosters Holds Grand Opening May 1

Roosters, a men’s grooming center at the new retail space next to Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue, held its grand opening May 1. Among those attending was councilman Jack Evans shown in photo at right with proprietor John Santanella. Offering hair cuts, shaves and more, Roosters is at 1815 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

Online Retailer Models the D.C. Woman

Fashion duo Alvaro Roche and Elsa Arcila have deep roots in the industry, but it wasn’t until they found each other in D.C. that their brand Aroche was born.
“We love D.C. because it has all this international influence,” Roche said.
Created after years of Roche’s work around the globe – which included six years with Italian designer Gionfranco Ferré and the co-founding of children’s clothing line EPK, now sold all over Latin America – Aroche is the product of a perfect pair. Roche and Arcila shared a passion for creating a brand that was simple, sophisticated and, most importantly, practical.
“Understated and getting it done; like the DC woman,” is how someone described Aroche in a tweet. And Roche agreed.
“We’re trying to create something well-designed, understated, minimalist, but at the same time a little sexy,” Roche said. “Getting it done and practical.”
Combining their international experiences, Roche and Arcila have seen the industry shift in a huge way. When the two began working on the brand in late 2012, they first started talking about the industry’s move in the direction of online sales. They have watched major design brands rethink flagship stores and open fewer, larger stores.
“The online presence is bigger and that’s what is important,” Roche said.
After splitting his time among Europe, Latin America and China, Roche was looking for something more manageable and personable. Coming from a time when fashion was brick and mortar only, Roche is having fun with his new online venture.
Arcila lived in Venezuela before attending school in Los Angeles at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, where she studied marketing and brought her knowledge to Roche’s vision of starting a brand from scratch.
“We always say ‘enjoy the process,’” Aroche said. A year and a half of detailed work later, Aroche’s debut spring collection featured three styles of nylon bags and three pairs of flats. The bags can be monogrammed and the fall collection is expected to include even more items. Find more at

Fred Maroon’s ‘Far Out Fashions’ at Artist’s Proof

May 9, 2014

Fred Maroon might be famous in D.C. for his notable photographs around the Capitol and Georgetown, but how many know that he traveled the work to produce spectacular fashion editorial spreads?

Peggy Sparks, owner of Artist’s Proof, is currently working with her team on an exhibition of Maroon’s editorial work at the intimate gallery, located just off M Street in Cady’s Alley. The show, “Far Out Fashions: An Exhibition of Fashion Photography by the Late Fred J. Maroon,” will be open to the public from May 16 to June 1. “We try to create a space for artists from around the world to come and share the stories they so very strongly put into their art,” said Sparks. She believes that Artist’s Proof is a place where the public can step into these stories.

Maroon’s story began when he was sweet-talked by the editor of London’s Weekend Telegraph Magazine in 1966. This first series was meant to highlight the cashmere wool made from the underbelly of Mongolian goats. Maroon traveled to the outskirts of Mongolia for the shoot. Look magazine (which stopped publishing in 1971) also bought the photos. The New York Times even dedicated half a page to displaying these ambitious photos of models in elaborate wool outfits in snowy landscapes. Maroon’s next destination was Leningrad. However, the clothes the group had brought with them could not be used. Maroon was only allowed to take the photos with a Soviet woman as the model and clothes from a Moscow designer. He agreed, and produced the series “Furs in Russia.”

Afghanistan was next, with a feature on the native silks of the region. A local prince who took a liking to a model granted them access to temples and religious locations where the group would not ordinarily be allowed to photograph. The photos from this trip are also important because they document locations that no longer exist, a result of the country’s war-torn recent history. Several feature models walking in lush green fields, an image of Afghanistan unfamiliar to most Americans.
One of Maroon’s final international stops was Japan, when he shot in several different temples and more remote regions. Maroon worked to record contemporary Japan and its natural features, avoiding the stereotyped, “Madama Butterfly” conceptions of the country.
Fred’s wife, Suzy, and his son, Mark, both Georgetown residents, were the ones who approached Artist’s Proof with the idea of displaying his unpublished editorial work. The current plan is to display different series of Maroon’s photographs, according to Sparks.
Old Town Editions of Alexandria is printing the enlarged prints. Patrick McMahon, co-owner of the studios, said that he is excited about the project and aims to create prints with colors as close as possible to the original slides. Since the photos were originally published in magazines and newspapers, the work is being displayed as it has never been before. The larger-than-life prints will allow the public to see the world through Maroon’s lens with a fresh perspective, said Sparks.

Look for the opening of the Maroon exhibit on May 16 and check out the other works, events and artists displayed at Artist’s Proof at
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April 9 Business Ins & Outs

April 11, 2014

In: After Peacock Room, a cafe with coffees and teas with pastries and savory light meals, at 2622 P St., NW; open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The design and name of the restaurant is a homage to James Whistler’s “Harmony of Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room.” The actual room is at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery on the National Mall.

In: Simply Banh Mi, specializing in “Fresh Vietnamese Baguette Sandwiches,” newly arrived at 1624 Wisconsin Ave., NW.

In: Another frozen yogurt place, Little Penguin at 3001 M St., NW, is now open and also offers fresh yogurt. The space used to be an IceBerry shop.

In Soon: Ike Behar, a men’s clothing store with beginnings in Cuba and headquarters in Miami, is coming to 2900 M St., NW.

In: Roosters Men’s Grooming Center, 1815 Wisconsin Ave., NW, is now open. “We believe you deserve to have a space of your own to relax while you get a haircut and a shave,” the company says. It is near Safeway and Jos. A. Bank and occupies 1,400 square feet.
Roosters’s motto is “The Classic American Barbershop for the 21st Century Man.” Go and check ‘em out, guys.

In and More: Il Canali Restaurant at 1063 31st St., NW, is expanding to the space left vacant by Cannon’s Seafood Market.
Out: Capitol Prague Restaurant at 3277 M St., NW, has closed. The Eastern European eatery made its debut in May 2013.

Congratulations: to the T.H.E. Artist Agency, celebrating 29 years and for bringing style to Georgetown and Washington, D.C. [gallery ids="101696,143926,143922" nav="thumbs"]

Business Ins & Outs, March 26

March 27, 2014

Forever 21 Coming to M Street

The clothing and accessories megastore Forever 21 will come to M Street in the Georgetown Park storefront spaces, according to the Washington Business Journal. The 20,000 square-foot space was once occupied by H&M, which moved to larger digs a few doors down. The New York Times described Forever 21 as “Faster Fashion, Cheaper Chic.”

D.C.’s first Forever 21 is in the old Woodie’s building on F Street downtown. The Georgetown store will be Forever 21’s second D.C. location. The company boasts more than 480 locations.

The reconstructed retail space known as Georgetown Park – formerly an interior shopping mall – was “quickly becoming a destination for bargain shoppers,” noted the Business Journal, which called it “the epicenter of bargains in tiny Georgetown.” Also cited were H&M, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and the soon-to-open DSW.

IN: 7-Eleven at Wisconsin and O

The convenience store 7-Eleven quietly opened two weeks ago at Wisconsin Avenue and O Street. It is Georgetown’s second 7-Eleven. In response to objections from some neighbors, the store design is low-key. The other Georgetown 7-Eleven is at 2617 P St., NW.

The 1344 Wisconsin Ave., NW, location is best known as the place owned by Harry “Doc” Dalinsky, who ran the Georgetown Pharmacy. After more than a century in operation, the pharmacy closed in 1988. Dalinsky died in 1992.

IN: Little Birdies Boutique on P Street

“We’re now open for business,” reports Shanlee Johnson, owner of Little Birdies Boutique at 3236 P St., NW. She describes the new store as a place that “offers an array of children’s new and consigned clothing, accessories and affordable luxury items.” Some of these are fine arts for children and D.C.-inspired gifts. Stop by with the little ones and say, “Welcome to the neighborhood.”

IN: Aroche online boutique

Aroche is a new online shoe and accessories boutique founded by fashion businessman Alvaro Roche and marketer Elsa Arcila. Roche has designed shoes for Gianfranco Ferré. He also founded EPK, which sells children’s clothing. Roche runs the business out of his Georgetown home for now and hopes to set up shop later.